WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Sports happenings in Singapore (27 June - 3 July)

Singapore national bowlers emerge triumphant in Europe as Bernice Lim (centre) won the EBT Masters in Germany with Jazreel Tan (left) coming in third, and Colleen Pee (right) won four golds at the IBF U-21 World Championships in Sweden.
Singapore national bowlers emerge triumphant in Europe as Bernice Lim (centre) won the EBT Masters in Germany with Jazreel Tan (left) coming in third, and Colleen Pee (right) won four golds at the IBF U-21 World Championships in Sweden. (PHOTOS: Singapore Bowling Federation)

SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (27 June to 3 July):

National senior and youth bowlers triumph in Europe

Singapore national bowler Bernice Lim clinched her first individual title at an international competition since 2019, winning the European Bowling Tour Masters in Unterfohring, Germany, on Wednesday (29 June).

The 30-year-old, whose last title was at the 2019 Singapore Open, won with 2,539 pinfalls from the qualifying round and the four-game final. Sweden's Cajsa Wegner was second with 2,409 pinfalls, while Lim's compatriot Jazreel Tan (2,402) finished third.

Meanwhile, the national youth bowlers have clinched four golds and one bronze at the International Bowling Federation (IBF) Under-21 World Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Colleen Pee, 18, won the women's singles gold after beating Malaysia's Alyaa Addini Zulamri in the final for her first international junior title. She then teamed up with Arianne Tay, Ning Tay and Quek Lu Yi to clinch the women's team gold by defeating the United States in the final.

Colleen and Arianne also won the women's doubles gold, beating their French opponents who had defeated Ning and Lu Yi in the semi-finals. They also teamed up with Joyan Khoo and Ryan Toh to beat Sweden and clinch the mixed team gold.

Clarence Chew clinches 3 golds at SEA Table Tennis Championships

Singapore national paddler Clarence Chew clinched three gold medals at the Southeast Asian Table Tennis Championships, held in Bangkok from 23 to 28 June.

The 26-year-old Olympian won the men's singles, men's doubles (with Ethan Poh) and mixed doubles (with Zeng Jian) competitions, as the Singapore team earned three golds, two silvers and six bronzes.

Here are the medal winners:

  • Gold medals: Men's singles (Chew), men's doubles (Chew/Poh), mixed doubles (Chew/Zeng).

  • Silver medals: Men's doubles (Koen Pang/Izaac Quek), women's team (Zeng, Wong Xin Ru, Goi Rui Xuan, Zhou Jing Yi, Zhang Wan Ling).

  • Bronze medals: Men's singles (Pang, Beh Kun Ting), men's team (Chew, Poh, Pang, Quek), women's doubles (Zeng/Wong), mixed doubles (Quek/Zhou, Poh/Goi).

Singapore to host Tour de France criterium event in October

Singapore is set to become the first Southeast Asian country to host a Tour de France criterium cycling event on 29 and 30 October, when 32 riders from eight of the world's top cycling teams compete in a specially-designed street circuit in the heart of the city.

Among the competing riders is Britain's Mark Cavendish, who holds the joint record for the most Tour de France stage wins (34), and is widely regarded as the sport's greatest sprinter. He has already won four world titles and an Olympic silver medal.

In comparison to the gruelling, three-week-long Tour de France race every July, the Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium is a shorter race on a closed circuit, which makes the format more suited to Singapore streets.

Freediver Elys Lai breaks 2 national records at Pool World C'ships

Singaporean freediver Elys Lai, 44, broke two national records in the dynamic bifins (DYNB) and static apnea (STA) events en route to finishing fourth overall at the AIDA Pool World Championships held in Burgas, Bulgaria from 20 to 24 June.

A total of 130 competitors from 29 different nations competed for medals in four pool disciplines, which test a diver's ability to dive either the furthest distance or for the longest time on a single breath.

Lai, who funded her own campaign to take part in the competition, now holds all the possible national records for pool disciplines.

National U-20 Ice hockey team earn silver medal

The Singapore national Under-20 ice hockey team clinched a silver medal in their maiden international tournament at the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 Asia and Oceania Championship in Bangkok, which was held from 25 June to 2 July.

Drawn into Group B, Singapore beat Indonesia 5-1 and India 10-1, but lost 4-7 to Hong Kong. They advanced into the quarter-finals, where they defeated Malaysia 2-1 in overtime.

In the semi-finals on Friday (1 July), Singapore emerged triumphant again, outlasting United Arab Emirates 4-3. In Saturday's gold-medal game, however, Singapore narrowly lost to Thailand 3-4 to settle for the silver.

Joshua Chan emerged overall top scorer with 16 goals, and was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the championship.

Sailors thrash Jaguars to open nine-point gap

Defending Singapore Premier League champions Lion City Sailors pulled nine points clear at the top of the table with a 6-0 thrashing of Tanjong Pagar United at Jurong East Stadium on Sunday (3 July).

Goals from Maxime Lestienne (2nd minute), Gabriel Quak (15th and 54th), Hariss Harun (18th) and Diego Lopes (52nd and 56th) gave the Sailors the big win, widening the gap between them and second-placed Albirex Niigata (Singapore), who have played two fewer matches.

On Saturday at the Toa Payoh Stadium, Geylang International defeated Balestier Khalsa 2-0 to overtake the hosts into sixth spot. Goals from Sime Zuzul (48th) and Hazzuwan Halin (78th) gave the Eagles their second straight win.

INFOGRAPHIC: Singapore National Paralympic Council
INFOGRAPHIC: Singapore National Paralympic Council

Revised AAA to be awarded for ASEAN Para Games

The upcoming ASEAN Para Games will be the first major Games that will see a revised Athletes Achievement Awards (AAA) by the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC).

An individual gold medallist at the upcoming ASEAN Para Games will now be awarded $5,000 for each gold medal (cap at a maximum of three highest achievements) with gold medallists in team events and team sports being awarded $8,000 and $16,000 respectively (see infographic above).

The Tote Board and DBS are the primary sponsors of the awards, which provide a cash award to athletes who win gold, silver or bronze medals at the Asian Para Games, Commonwealth Games, and Paralympic Games, and gold medals at the ASEAN Para Games.

A total of 37 athletes across nine sports will be taking part at the ASEAN Para Games in Solo, Indonesia from 30 July to 6 August. Para swimmer Sophie Soon has been named the flag-bearer for Team Singapore at the Games.

Mark Chay elected unopposed as SSA president

Nominated Member of Parliament and former national swimmer Mark Chay has been elected unopposed as the new president of Singapore Swimming Association during its annual general meeting on Wednesday (29 June). He succeeds Lee Kok Choy, who had served his fourth and final term.

Current executive committee members Dominic Soh, Wendy Lim and Steve Chew - who are the vice-presidents for water polo, diving and artistic swimming respectively - returned for another two-year term. New faces in the exco include former national swimmers Kenneth Goh, Ng Cheng Xun and Chan U-Nice, former national water polo player Leonard Yeo, Ernst and Young partner Yeo Kai Eng and OCBC vice-president Ow Yong Weng Leong.

“On behalf of the newly elected exco, we are humbled by the opportunity to serve the aquatics community," Chay said.

“The plan for the new team is to build on the good work that has been done. Success to me would be to increase the number of people in aquatic sports participating in structured programmes, and enabling our clubs to flourish."

GetActive Singapore sports festival from 30 July to 8 August

GetActive! Singapore (GASG), the annual sports festival organised by Sport Singapore (SportSG) leading up to National Day, will be held from 30 July to 8 August with physical activities for the first time in two years.

The events and programmes will take place at the Singapore Sports Hub, ActiveSG Sport Centres and heartland community spaces. Community athletes can also look forward to Pesta Sukan, which will be back with 24 sports, 13 para sports and five signature events, in the largest multi-sports competition for Singaporeans after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Dance and adrenaline sports will be on offer at the YouthCreates Urban Fiesta at the Sports Hub. Youths can join clinics, sport tryouts or compete at OCBC Square in either skateboarding, parkour or roller skating. Meanwhile, the public can also check out the Active Health Experiential Booth and take part in Make Every Move Count workshops.

The GetActive! Workout: Dance of The Nation will return this year, with Singaporeans are encouraged to submit a video of themselves, family or fellow co-workers performing the dance moves for this year’s National Day Parade (NDP) theme song “Stronger Together”. Standout videos will stand a chance to win a pair of NDP Show tickets or a mascot plushie in a lucky draw.

Cubs taking part in AFF U-19 Boys' Championship

A 26-strong national football squad will be taking part in the AFF U-19 Boys' Championship in Jakarta from 3 July (Sunday). The competition will be the first for most of the players since the coronavirus pandemic started two years ago.

The Cubs are drawn into Group B with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Timor Leste. The final squad will include Young Lions winger Khairin Nadim, who featured in all four games during May's SEA Games in Vietnam. His club teammate Raoul Suhaimi – the Singapore Premier League’s youngest debutant at 15 years and 232 days – is also in the squad.

The squad began intensive training in April, and linked up for a training camp during the last international window from 30 May to 14 June. They underwent another centralised training from 20 June before coach Fadzuhasni Juraimi made the final selection.

U-19 squad - Goalkeepers: Aizil Yazid, Firman Faizal, Karan Sobti, Rauf Erwan. Defenders: Aqil Yazid, Aniq Raushan, Danial Crichton, Fairuz Fazli, Farid Jafri, Junki Yoshimura, Kieran Teo, Raoul Suhaimi, Syafi Hilman. Midfielders: Amir Rashid, Asis Ijilral, Glen Ong, Hilman Norisham, Izrafil Yusof, Ryu Hardy. Forwards: Ali Manaf, Ilyasin Zayan, Irfan Iskandar, Khairin Nadim, Kieran Aryan, Sham Mohamed, Zakaria Syari.

Renowned athletic coach M. Harichandra dies

Renowned athletics coach M. Harichandra, who trained the likes of top Singapore track-and-field athletes C. Kunalan, Serjit Singh and Quah Kim Tiong in the 1970s, died on Wednesday (29 June) at ager 92.

Born in Port Dickson, Harichandra represented Malaya at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in the men's 800m race, before he came to Singapore to work as a prisons officer. He continued to race even as he began coaching young sprinters and middle-distance runners.

In 1978, he also started the Singapore Masters Athletics Association to provide senior athletes with an avenue to remain competitive.

He leaves behind his wife Thangarasi, son Rohan, daughter Anita and their families.

Serapong rises in 100 Greatest Golf Courses rankings

Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong course has climbed up four spots to 55th in the latest Golf Digest World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses 2022/23 rankings. This is the highest position the course has featured on, since it was first included in the 2016/17 rankings.

This follows on from the release of Golf Digest’s "Best Golf Courses in Every Country" rankings last year, where the Serapong course was named the No.1 golf course in Singapore for the second consecutive listing. The course also holds the title of "Singapore’s Best Golf Course" by the World Golf Awards.

Increased recognition comes after the course underwent a major renovation in 2020, led by the club’s resident golf course designer Andrew Johnston, that saw key areas including the bunkers, fairways, tee boxes and greens modified to improve consistency, texture, and playability across the course.

It received widespread acclaim from golfers at the SMBC Singapore Open earlier this year, with fast, challenging greens, trademark contours and iconic holes.

Sustainable initiatives at FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup

The FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup, to be held at the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza from 6 to 10 July, will be the first international sport event in Singapore to feature a sizeable number of sustainable initiatives as part of the Sport Green Plan, which was announced in March to drive greener sport infrastructure.

Single-use plastics is discouraged, and athletes and working crew will receive reusable water bottles. Water canisters will also be available throughout the event venue. Athletes, officials and volunteers will also be provided with EZ-Link cards to take public transport to and from the hotel, training and competition venues, as an additional step to further reduce the event’s carbon footprint. In addition, the organising committee will be using recyclable materials for signages, accreditation passes and apparels, among other efforts.

To further outreach efforts, Sport Singapore has partnered recycling and environmental services company Alba E-Waste Smart Recycling to drive a meaningful e-waste and shoe-recycling campaign island-wide, including at the event site. The collected shoes will be recycled into infrastructure materials for jogging tracks, playgrounds and fitness corners.

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